For the first time ever, my second toon to max level in an expansion is not my paladin. Rather, it’s my shaman.
And, for the first time in several expansions, I actually felt pressured to get to level 120 by a certain point. That point was by June 25th, the day of Patch 8.2.
The reason for both of these is that my shaman is my herbalist and scribe, while Madrana, the paladin, is a jewelcrafter/alchemist.
For whatever reason, it didn’t dawn on me until like, Sunday evening, that I would need to be level 120 to get to Nazjatar, one of the new zones in Battle for Azeroth. And that the profession trainers are in Nazjatar. As such, I “wasted” my weekend getting Kurn through almost all the requirements for Pathfinder Part 1 (just missing some rep) because I figured that flying is The Most Important Thing.
Except it’s not.
I went to bed early (for me) on Sunday and then woke up with a bad sinus headache at like, 3:45am. So naturally, I took headache meds and then logged on to WoW, whereupon I realized that:
a) My shaman was 114
b) My mage (miner) was 113
c) My paladin was 111
I wasn’t going to be able to benefit from any new profession stuff on any toon except Kurn. And, let’s be fair, I did not make millions of gold at the launch of the expansion on Kurn, who is a skinner/leatherworker. I made millions of gold on my shaman, making Darkmoon Cards and decks.
So by 4am on what was technically Monday morning, I queued up to heal dungeons on my shaman, something I haven’t done since probably getting through the last couple of levels in Mists or maybe Warlords of Draenor. Typically, since my shammy was my dual gatherer for quite some time, I just herbed and mined my way to max level most of the time.
Wearing the heirloom helm, cloak, shoulders, chest, pants and the Dread Pirate Ring (god, I love that I once won the fishing competition), I had 50% extra XP. I was also rested. So I went for it.
I hit 116 before going back to bed around 7:30-8am. Then I napped for three hours, then worked ’till 7pm and then cracked my knuckles and was like “LET’S DO THIS”.
My brother logged on to his rogue (114ish?) and we queued up for a couple of dungeons. By and large, these went fine and I got to 117.
However. There was this one dungeon we ran that I feel I must absolutely discuss: Tol Dagor.
Let us be very clear, neither my brother, nor I, know anything about this dungeon and its mechanics. I’d run it maybe twice before, once on the shaman and once on my hunter, maybe. My brother had also seen it once.
The run was off to a not amazing start when our tank ran and pulled a ton of stuff right before the Sand Queen, the first boss. And said in chat, “lust”.
I was like “wtf is lu—-ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh, bloodlust. Meaning, heroism.” Because, of course, I’m a shaman and I apparently have that ability. So I blew it and we finished this insanely large pack of mobs and then dude pulls the boss without pause. Great. Anyway, we move on and it’s on the third floor, I want to say, where we run into trouble. We’ve done three bosses so it’s some trash on our way outside to the ramparts where we wipe… and our tank leaves. The group is composed of me healing, a moonkin, and two rogues, my brother and someone else. We got a tank and then proceeded towards the ramparts, but no one knows what they’re doing re: cannons. So we wipe and the tank leaves. Something bugged out and we weren’t in the queue for a new tank. I tried to leave the queue and requeue, like I used to be able to do, but I couldn’t do that, either. It was very weird. So now we’re in a room right before the ramparts part, literally five mobs from the boss, but have no tank. Oh, and the dudes see through stealth, so my brother can’t whatever the AOE stealth thing is to get me through.
TIME TO GET CREATIVE.
I told my brother to just run for the cannon, while I’d run in and drop my Earth Elemental (Josh!) and then we’d just take down the mobs with the help of the cannon. Boom, we succeed. Then the moonkin goes BEAR and we get the last two overseers with the cannon and some great heals. ;)
And then, the last boss, Overseer Korgus.
Everyone except the tank died on this fight. First the other rogue. Then me. Then my brother. Then the moonkin REZZES ME and we kicked some ASS and finally got him down! VICTORY.
It’s these hard-won victories that remind me of Vanilla. Like, in those days, I would have wanted to invite the moonkin to my guild.
Anyway, while we were doing this, our favourite football, Daey, shows up on Discord and is like “haven’t you done island expeditions?” and I’m like “what are island expeditions?”
Insert EZ mode here. Daey takes my brother and I on like, three (?) island expeditions on his demon hunter, and I’m like, midway through 118 by the time my brother goes to bed around 11ish or so. Daey and I kept doing them and next thing you know, I’m 119. And there’s an assault up in Stormsong Valley, so heyyyyyyyyy, yes, I would like another 10% XP, THANK YOU KINDLY.
So I went and did those quests, got my buff and we got Daey done with his demon hunter and pally (almost) for the expeditions. Dude, I am not kidding, it took three island expeditions to get 18 bars of XP with my 60% XP buffs. DISGUSTING AND AMAZING ALL AT ONCE.
And for the last expedition of the night, I queued up with Daey on his pally and on Kurn, since I hadn’t done one on my hunter yet. So Daey got all his expeditions done on the pally, I got one done on Kurn (on Heroic, no less!) and my shaman is level 120 and ready to go herbing in Nazjatar.
More than that, though, my shammy is ready to learn the Inscription trinkets from Nazjatar.
And I am ready to make a crapton of gold.
And that, my friends, is how I got from 114-120 in less than 22 hours (owing to sleep and work) primarily through sick XP boosts and island expeditions!